When you meet someone face-to-face, most of your senses are engaged in making a judgment about that person. You shake hands, you see how the person is dressed, you smell (or don’t smell), and you hear the person’s voice. When you pick up the phone and call a company, the person on the other end picks up and all you have, upon which to make judgment, is the tone of the person’s voice.
My friend, Ann Wilkinson, knows a thing or two about voice tone. As an actor, vocal coach, casting director and professor, she’s a pro at knowing how to perform with your voice. This past week, I asked Ann to share with a client some of the keys to sounding good on the phone. Here are a few tidbits:
- Posture. Sit up, feet on the floor, and drop your shoulders. Good posture helps the quality of your mood and the quality of your voice.
- Consonants. Use your consonants and speak clearly. When people hear you articulating your words, they perceive you to be intelligent and educated. Mush mouth and mumbling gives the perception you don’t know what you’re talking about.
- Breathing. Take a good, deep breath from your diaphragm before beginning the conversation. It relaxes you, powers your vocal energy and even makes you feel better.
- Smile. It physically alters the structure of your face and head, allowing your voice to have more resonance and sounding more enthusiastic.